All-state volleyball honors for area
C-G/D’s Middleton a first teamer
Morgan Middleton put together one of the more dominant seasons of volleyball in Clarion-Goldfield/Dows school history this year.
Middleton, a junior, earned first team all-state honors by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association for her efforts on the court.
Joining Middleton was her Cowgirl classmate Alaina Freisleben, who was honorable mention in Class 2A.
“It is nice for the girls to be recognized for the hard work and dedication they have had to the CGD program,” head coach Katrina TerHark said. “It is a great representation for our team, school, community, and the North Central Conference. The success stems from the work they have put in during the season and the offseason.
“They’ve bought into the programs’ expectations and values. A tweet by Chris Fitzgerald says it best: ‘At the end of the day, it’s a bunch of kids playing a game they love with their friends.’ The genuine excitement they show for each is truly special.”
Humboldt’s Jori Hajek made the 3A honorable mention squad, with Newell-Fonda’s Ella Larsen earning a spot on the 1A third-team.
Middleton finished the season fourth in the state with 577 kills despite playing in less sets than all but one of the Top-20 ranked players.
The North Dakota State commit also had the second-fewest errors of the Top-15 players, serving at a 94-percent clip with 54 aces.
Middleton, the NCC career leader in kills, also had 34 total blocks and 190 digs. She set a state tournament single-match record with 34 kills as Clarion-Goldfield/Dows earned its first-ever win at state.
Freisleben led the Cowgirls with 823 assists, adding 30 blocks, 152 digs, 48 kills and 54 aces to her season totals.
Both will be back along with the rest of the roster from two consecutive state tournament appearances for C-G/D.
“I think this season just motivates this group to want to work even harder than they did this year,” TerHark said. “This team learned from making it to the state tournament last year, and didn’t like how losing felt. There was a lot to take in, but they learned from it. They now know what a first round win is like and how to respond after winning a match like that.
“Moving forward, we will continue to set short- and long-term goals and will push ourselves to be the best that we can be. There is a lot of excitement in the CGD community about volleyball and we just need to keep everything in perspective and enjoy the great season we had.”
Hajek, also a junior, had 320 kills and 52 aces, serving 352-for-364 on the year. She also finished with 351 digs and 11 blocks.
Larsen, another 11th-grader, helped the Mustangs reach a regional final. She had 218 kills and 18 aces with 220 digs, 110 blocks and 40 assists.
“Making the all-state team was quite a surprise for me,” said Larsen, who is also an all-state softball player. “I wasn’t thinking a whole lot about making it. I’m just really thankful for my team and everything they have done to make me a better person and player.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and the support of my coaches.”
Larsen’s 89 assisted blocks ranked first in 1A.
The all-district teams were also announced, with all four all-state players earning spots on those squads as well.
St. Edmond’s Josie Huss was a 1A selection along with Bishop Garrigan’s Maddie Meister and Katie Noonan; West Bend-Mallard’s Monika Fehr; and Newell-Fonda’s Macy Sievers and Megan Morenz.
In 2A, South Central Calhoun’s Emma McKinney; East Sac County’s Brianna Boeckman and Bailey Wollesen; Clarion-Goldfield/Dows’ Kendall Lieneman; and Emmetsburg’s Molly Schany garnered district honors.
Algona’s Abbey Holmes and Molly McCauley were also joined by Humboldt’s Deni McDaniel in 3A, with Webster City’s Alayna Finucan earning 4A status.
TerHark was named a coach of the year in 2A.
IOWA GIRLS COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-STATE TEAMS
(Messenger-area selections only)
Jori Hajek, Humboldt, jr.
Morgan Middleton, Clarion-Goldfield/Dows, jr.
Alaina Freisleben, Clarion-Goldfield/Dows, jr.
Ella Larsen, Newell-Fonda, jr.
IOWA GIRLS COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-DISTRICT TEAMS
(Messenger-area selections only)
Alayna Finucan, Webster City, soph.
Abbey Holmes, Algona, sr.; Molly McCauley, Algona, sr.; Jori Hajek, Humboldt, jr.; Deni McDaniel, Humboldt, jr.
Emma McKinney, South Central Calhoun, sr.; Alaina Freisleben, Clarion-Goldfield/Dows, jr.; Brianna Boeckman, East Sac County, jr.; Kaylee Shivers, Pocahontas Area, sr.; Kendall Lieneman, Clarion-Goldfield/Dows, jr.; Morgan Middleton, Clarion-Goldfield/Dows, jr.; Molly Schany, Emmetsburg, sr.; Bailey Wollesen, East Sac County, jr.
Coach of the Year: Katrina TerHark, Clarion-Goldfield/Dows.
Maddie Meister, Bishop Garrigan, sr.; Katie Noonan, Bishop Garrigan, sr.
Josie Huss, St. Edmond, sr.; Monika Fehr, West Bend-Mallard, jr.; Ella Larsen, Newell-Fonda, jr.; Macy Sievers, Newell-Fonda, soph.; Megan Morenz, Newell-Fonda, sr.